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Sata and Mugabe hold private talks

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President Michael Sata and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe held private talks at State House where the two leaders discussed various matters pertaining to the development of the two countries.

Amongst the issues discussed was the co hosting of the 20th session of the UNWTO general assembly the two countries are scheduled to co-host.

Meanwhile, the two leaders have directed their Tourism Ministers to fine tune their preparations for next year’s UNWTO general assembly the two countries are scheduled to co-host.

During the meeting heald at State House in Lusaka today, Mr Sata said Zambia was grateful that President Mugabe had come to Zambia on a state visit and that the country expected to learn more from him.

Before the closed door meeting, President Mugabe thanked Zambia for the role the country had played in the liberation of the Southern African region by hosting freedom fighters.

President Mugabe said he had strong roots in Zambia having taught at Chalimbana teachers training college in the mid 1950’s even before the liberation struggle.

The meeting between the two heads of states was also attended by several senior government officials including Vice president of Zambia Guy Scott, Finance minster Alexander Chikwanda, Foreign affairs Given Lubinda, Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu and Transport, Communications, Works and Supply minister Chris Yaluma.

And Zimbabwean Tourism minister Walter Mzembi said the two heads of state at State House in Lusaka yesterday affirmed that the two countries were ready to host the global event but needed to put in place finishing touches.

Mr Mzembi said this at a joint press briefing his Zambian counterpart Sylvia Masebo shortly after closed door talks between President Sata and President Mugabe and their delegations at State House.

“We got wise counsel from president Sata who intimated that the two of us must not wait for official delegations on either side in order for us to meet and drive the agenda of the general assembly forward,” Mr Mzembi said.

Mr Mzembi said there was excellent coordination between the two countries with regard to the hosting of the general assembly in a unique style.

The general assembly is expected to be held in Livingstone in Zambia and Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe from August 24 to 29, next year.

Mr Mzembi said he was in President Mugabe’s delegation to specifically update newly appointed Zambian minster of Tourism Ms Masebo on the current status of the preparations.

“We can host this general assembly if we choose to next month. With the infrastructure that is currently in place we are ready to host the 20th session of the general assembly.

“We are two very proud countries that would like to showcase the best out of the continent. For now we are rated as being in a state of excellent coordination” he said.

Mr Mzembi also disclosed that a Zimbabwean government official who questioned the preparedness of the two countries to host the general assembly was this week removed from his position awaiting redeployment.

And Ms Masebo also affirmed that the two countries were ready to host the general assembly,

“We want to affirm that we are actually on course and come next year this time around August we are confident that the conference,” he said.

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